To leave or not to leave, is not the question!
Many of us have faced leaving our child at daycare or a new school for the first time. Sometimes it is hard to know the right thing to do if your child shows distress at parting or at home afterwards. We get lots of advice, mostly, “ Leave them right away, they’ll be fine once you are gone.” The answer as to what to do does not lie in the leaving or not leaving. When deciding how to leave a child at daycare or school, it is important to consider the following during the transition:
- Your child’s age and developmental needs.
- Is your child’s caregiver working with you or insisting on their method?
- Has your child experienced any other recent changes or illness that impact her adjustment?
- Have you taken the time to visit the setting a few times, and have some short days first?
While there might be the occasion when leaving right away is merited or needed, and you find that your child is adjusting well, there are times when leaving this way will undermine your child’s security in the new setting in the long run. There are times when making adjustments in your schedule, or slowing down the transition are exactly what your child needs to make a healthy adjustment that makes them feel secure.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Interview your provider to assess if they are willing to work with you to help find a solution in your child’s best interest together.
- Take time to transition with several visits to the setting, so your child can see mommy (and daddy too) interact with the caregiver in a natural way, and get a chance to acclimate to the setting.
- Let your decision on how to handle signs of distress in your child be informed by the events in your family’s life, and developmental stage, or illness.
- Never make your child wrong for expressing his or her needs in the way they do, simply take the time to meet those needs.
Image Credit: Andrea Sisouvong